Sunday, August 31, 2014

finishing out our last week of summer!

a precious walk with a friend.
a few hours at the pool.
they spent 2 hours organizing Lego's. and i didn't even ask them to! they've played with lego's for more hours this past week than the last 12 months combined! ALL 6 of them! it's been so fun!
and 3 of the boys are playing flag football this are getting warmed up!
it will be their first season. and they are on the SAME team! i bet their coach thinks these brothers will look a little more "alike"... :-)
9 pm. friday night. pat asked me out for guacamole and drinks. don't need to ask me twice!!
i am NOT ok with summer ending. at all. for the record.

adventure to the city!

the Metro (the "subway" in the dc area) recently added to their route and came out towards us. so we went on an adventure into the city!

it took us 2 1/2 hours and $70 dollars to get there. so it wasn't a savings in ANY way. but i wasn't planning on it.

when i got tickets to go up the Washington Monument at 10 am, i didn't think about what time we'd need to leave our HOUSE to get there...and that we'd be with all the people going to work!

it was CROWDED. our car didn't fit in the parking we had to park 1/2 mile away...adding to our time and day on each end. AND, there seemed to be an unspoken rule that there is NO TALKING on the metro :/ kids were SO excited, they talked up a storm and maybe drove everyone nuts...

but we made it. with 15 minutes to spare!

the monument has been under construction for years and you haven't been able to go up it. it just re-opened earlier this summer. you can no longer WALK up it, but you can take an elevator.

views from the top...

an amazing city!

we didn't hang around too long after.
heading back to our area...

there was no one on the train on the way back. she only did this once. then i made her sit. love lincoln reading the paper - ha!
i surprised them with lunch at chick fil a near where we got ON the metro.

and then surprised them further with cookies from a food truck in reston town center! it reminded us of the food trucks in seaside... :-)
i think these trucks are from dc??
i just happened to see something about them being out near us and it was perfect timing!

the truck with the cookies also had ice cream. and their flavor of the day was pina colada!! so i got some. and ate a cookie AND ice cream on a wednesday. i'm getting a little crazy over here!
it was a fun, fun day with my kids. they were SO good and SO grateful the whole time. we will all remember it for a long time.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

vacation might be over. but it's STILL summer!

there was a week between coming home from our last beach trip...and school starting. i guarded that week with all i had. i wanted to ENJOY this past week with my kids before the fall started and all the schedules that come with it!

we had SO much fun.

started out with surprising them with SUGAR cereals for breakfast! we don't eat cereal. ever. so this was a HUGE treat for them! (they did realize they were hungry an hour later... ;-)) and then i let them watch cartoons! (and then they did chores...)
i made sure to have some sweet, relaxing moments for myself, too! i read 3 magazines in a row on my front porch one afternoon...i have no idea what the kids were doing...
when we went to rock creek part in DC a few weeks ago, we each brought home 2 rocks to paint. we did that this week.
went for a spontaneous bike ride to "the hidden pond" (about a 6 mile ride - round trip) one morning.
but school was starting to be on everyone's mind...we had meeting their teachers and back to school night throughout the week... :(

and...vacation is over.

detox from junk food...
but still pulled off a fun dinner the first night home - made our own "chipotle" set up :-)

jmu beach trip. year #9.

if you've ever been to the outer banks, nc...then you know this sight is WELCOME! it's the bridge that means you're almost there!!!
we've vacationed with this group of friends for 9 years. and it's a highlight of our year.
we have YET to stay in the same house 2 years in a row. we've tried a couple times, but it never seems to work out for one reason or another. a few years ago, we put "oceanfront" at the top of our criteria in a house. it's mostly because it makes it so much easier with all our beach "gear"...but i sure do love getting to SEE and HEAR the ocean at all times!
bailey was so excited to be reunited with avery :-)
some of the kids hadn't seen each other in a year. they all picked up right where they left off...(these 2 - sawyer and wyatt - look SO much alike. i mistake them for each other ALL week :-))

out of the 21 kids (!!) there are only 6 girls. so they have to stick together ;-)
LOTS of holes were dug.
we do "themes" for most nights. on "fancy" night, there is a daddy-daughter dance :-)
pat has 2 daughters to dance with!!

that's a lot of kids. we get a lot of double-takes from people walking by.
the first couple days, the water was SO calm. like a lake almost! cary brought his paddleboard and the older kids used it quite a bit!

cary constructed this contraption to SMOKE pork for us. it smelled SO good all day long! and tasted pretty darn amazing also! everyone cooks one night. most of the couples go above and beyond and make such YUMMY meals. we kinda stink at that part. we made taco's. and rice that was so sticky it was a big glob. but no one went to bed hungry...

we usually feed the kids around 6 pm. then the adults eat around 8 pm once the kids are in bed-ish.
"cowboy" night - making all the kids say, "yee-haw!"

many of the nights we sat outside on the deck for dinner. it's one of my favorite parts.

for some reason, this trip brings out the worst in me. our family has always had kids, so we've never gone into the week thinking it would be restful or relaxing. but it's always been a stressful week for us- initially because we had kids and others didn't and we were trying to keep them quiet so that the other couples could sleep in...and now we are trying to keep our kids quiet so the other couples' kids can take naps :-) i'm not sure if it's my "introverted-ness" going berserk with 30 other people around or what, but i always show my "true colors." thankfully, these people love me and are willing to deal with me year after year. we are committed to each other and this trip and i am so thankful for their friendships.
happy birthday, cary!
i only went for 1 run the entire week. it was a 6 mile run, which is respectable. but after that, i just slept instead of getting up. and it was NICE!
sunrise over the beach.
chari. SUCH a gift to me. i love her so much.

we celebrated avery's 3rd birthday with duck donuts!!
that's quite a birthday party, huh??

and then the ocean woke up!! remember the lake water calm? that was over...and we had some great waves for boogie-boarding!

they were selling something. lemonade? cookies? i don't know. it kept them busy and i got to read ;-)

sawyer. he got so brave in the ocean this summer!
they created a restaurant. it was awesome.

hawaiian night - LIMBO!

leah. LOVE her. she is SO good for me!

he has no problem going off on his own. i love to watch him in his own little world.
the adults chairs. they are all helping/attending to those many kids....

LOTS of cards were played by the kids!
one afternoon it was just ali and i on the beach. it was a precious little while...
making pina colada's on the deck during the afternoon so i don't wake up the napping kids...
where pat and i lack in meal "yumminess", maybe we make up for in fun?? for our dessert on our night, we got a permit and wood for a bonfire on the beach...and smores!

left to right:
brian and peyton young
ej and ali fogarty
cary and leah ayers
tim and chari granger
there was a pier up the road from us that the guys and then girls went to happy hour a couple nights. it was pretty happy ;-)
cora and avery. cutest.

joshua and owen. friends from before birth...
some GREAT dads playing flag football with their kids.
it was a great week. until next year!!!